It all seemed so perfect.
Marcus Semien, jettisoned too soon during the South Side days of straddling the competitive fence, was destined to return home, team with Tim Anderson in the middle of the infield, launch 40 homers a year into the thin air of Sox Park, and make everything right again.
Perhaps most importantly, it would eliminate any chance of the starting second base job being handed to Romy González or Danny Mendick, or re-signed retreads like Leury García or César Hernández, or some crazy “gamer” equivalent of Adam Eaton, paid for grit more than production.
But news broke on Sunday night of Semien signing in Texas for seven years and $175 million, which by basic maths works out to $25 million per year until 2028.
The contract is a pretty significant overpay, and no one should fault the White Sox — even if your main argument is that the White Sox should carry a $250 million payroll — for not matching such inflated numbers. If the target was more 7/140, OK, the underwear gets a little bit bunchy. But $25 million per year presumes a six-plus WAR performance every year, and Semien won’t come close to that — especially given the contract runs until his age-37 season.
But debating the deal aside, where does it leave the White Sox? Despite Semien’s superior production, his age (and perhaps handedness) does not make him the prime middle infielder in a crowded market (behind at least Carlos “Bang Bang” Correa and Corey Seager, if not others), so the White Sox most assuredly are pivoting to less pricey players, and those pickings are slim. Chris Taylor, forecasted at MLB Trade Rumors to go for four years and $64 million ($16 million AAV), is a flexible and desirable target — a turbocharged García, if you will. Taylor, if the White Sox are targeting a real upgrade at the keystone, is the White Sox’s last hope.
Or is he?
Who are the White Sox going to sign for second base?
This poll is closed
A pedestrian player from outside the org (Joe Panik, Josh Harrison, Jed Lowrie, Matt Carpenter, etc.)
Will fill second base by trade
Will hand the job to Romy González, Yolbert Sánchez or Danny Mendick